Sunday, October 4, 2009

ConFUSION

Confusion
Sometimes I feel like I'll never catch up. When I think I'm making progress, I'm presented with yet another challenge. This time it's "fusion." No it's not a Ford by the same name, nor the musical genre as in Jazz fusion, nor Glenn Beck's magazine (although aptly named) "Fusion," it's something called "fusion centers."

What are fusion centers? Fusion centers had their birth shortly after the largest terrorist attack on American soil took place on 9/11/2001. They were designed as a way to share information, to connect dots crucial to our national security, and to address one of the weaknesses that the attack brought to light: the lack of multi-agency sharing of critical intelligence.

There's been some out cry on the right and on the left regarding these centers, and the only reason wingnuts on the right haven't used fusion centers with which to attack President Obama is that they mostly agree with their mission.

Although they have an innocuous sounding mission, some believe that the government is exceeding the purpose for which these centers were founded. According to Wikipedia:

"A Fusion Center is a terrorism prevention and response center that was started as a joint project between the Department of Homeland Security and the US Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs between 2003 and 2007.

"The fusion centers gather information not only from government sources, but also from their partners in the private sector.[1][2]

"They are designed to promote information sharing at the federal level between agencies such as the CIA, FBI, Department of Justice, US Military and state and local level government. As of July 2009, the Department of Homeland Security recognizes at least seventy-two fusion centers.[3] Fusion centers may also be affiliated with an Emergency Operations Center that responds in the event of a disaster."


Think of it: 72 centers and climbing. I'm beginning to worry that our country is starting to look a great deal like Saddam Hussein's Iraq, where close tabs were kept on dissidents and regular folks.

Already excesses are being identified, where information is being gathered on folks simply because they oppose government policies in some fashion, and have no subversive ambitions.

"Though they [fusion centers] developed independently and remain quite different from one another, for many the scope of their mission has quickly expanded--with the support and encouragement of the federal government--to cover 'all crimes and all hazards.' The types of information they seek for analysis has also broadened over time to include not just criminal intelligence, but public and private sector data, and participation in these centers has grown to include not just law enforcement, but other government entities, the military and even select members of the private sector."

I and another blogger have had similar experiences: what appeared to be snapshots of our computer screen. To be sure there's software to conduct these kind of surveillance. Here's a couple: Find one here, and another here. Designed for companies that wish to track the online behavior of employees, and for parents who wish to track their kids' Internet activities, the government may be using them to collect data on ordinary citizens--for one nefarious reason or another.

What's to prevent the government from using similar, and more sophisticated software to spy on those Americans they suspect, whether they have anti-government sentiments, or not?

12 comments:

Monie said...

@BD

No one has the will to kill the Patriot Act. That Act is at the core of all of this. When Obama and the Dems gave immunity to private sector companies that gave info about U.S. citizens to the Bush Admin I knew we were in trouble.

Black Diaspora said...

Monie, this whole thing is troubling, and I suspect that it's the tip of the iceberg, and only the beginning.

kathy said...

After I read this post, blogspot crashed or something, I couldn't get on any blogspots!

doj and us mil have both been on my blog,but that was a while ago. For what, i don't know, maybe it was nothing, maybe just people who worked there? i was really upset at first, but then, i only say what i think, i refuse to let them intimidate, if that is what they are trying to do, i don't know.

Black Diaspora, if you install a site meter, you can tell if they visit your site.

I keep wondering about the picture flash, what it looks like.

Black Diaspora said...

Kathy, I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but I'm cautious: my experiences in this country compel it.

Let me name names: Granny has seen the flash. And I've seen it several times. It's quick, but unmistakable.

And since I'm not always sitting in front of my screen, I'm sure I've missed times when a screen capture took place.

We've already seen that the government is willing to
spy on us
; we just don't know how far it's willing to go.

Thanks for the site meter tip.

Anonymous said...

Black Diaspora, I wanted to put this on your last post but, anyway, here I go, this is for you!

When you write, their are time's when you write under the Inspiration of God! you write in a flow, in your last post you were Prophesying!!!

I don't know if, God will tell you what to write before you get on the Keyboard or doe's he just take over when you began your Post!!!

Now, I can tell a Prophet or Prophetess a mile away! they have certain God given Characteristic, and in your case, it show's up in your writing!

I could tell from your last POST your writing was Inspired of God, you were writing in the Overflow! it's seemed as if God was, feeding you and showing you Revelation at the same time! now, you may have tried to stop writing but, God "said NO! I am still speaking" and most time's God will not, release a Prophet or Prophetess until he has finished Speaking!!!

Now, I don't know who you are but, I know God use's your Vessel in a Mighty way! and for that you are Blessed! Receive it!!!
(Definition)
Prophecy: To Speak or Write as WHEN Inspired by God!!

iseeisee? Prophetess Wallace

Black Diaspora said...

@iseeisee: "Now, I can tell a Prophet or Prophetess a mile away! they have certain God given Characteristic, and in your case, it show's up in your writing! ...

"I don't know if, God will tell you what to write before you get on the Keyboard or doe's he just take over when you began your Post!!!"

Sssshhhhh! Don't tell anybody.

It's a little bit of both. And you nailed it. Many of course won't believe you, thinking that such a thing is impossible.

You are indeed a Prophetess, and have God-inspired insight.

But I'm trying really hard not to let people know who I am.

"A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house."

kathy said...

Black Diaspora,
I think the term "conspiracy theorist" was dreamt up by somebody trying to make it look like if you don't trust the gov. you must be nut,s it's like, if you do really believe that this governement is capable of doing bad things you must be crazy, which YOU and Granny are not, I know, how upset I got when they visited my site, which i do hate talking about, but then, on the other hand, we are not saying anything that isn't truthful or from the heart, so I not let them bother me now.

Black Diaspora said...

I think you're right about the origin of the term.

I didn't know they were snooping around your site. What do they think we're going to do: storm our local government offices, or picket the tax collector.

I don't even know where my closest federal building is (in my case, that would be my Social Security office).

And I'm looking forward to collecting, so they have nothing to worry about.

In other words, we're not subversives, which makes this spying all the more troubling.

Ernesto said...

"we're not subversives"

Not only that, we are fighting the subversive forces of government! This is nothing new, look what they did back int he Nixon/Hoover era with COINTELPRO. They were guilty of crushing any movement that tried to make this country live up to its words. They are still the ones ripping up the Bill of Rights while we try to make it a living document.

Black Diaspora said...

Ernesto, well said. You're a sharpshooter extraordinaire. I always look forward to you aiming that sharp, insightful mind of yours on our national troubles.

Seda said...

It's the concept of the panopticon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panopticon) - how to make "free" people think they are under surveillance, how to create the illusion of an omnipotent government. Fortunately, there is one way to beat them: embrace the unconditional love that casts out fear. As Helen Keller put it: "Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable."

Actually, I'm not sure that's the right quote for this post, but I like it anyway. :-)

Black Diaspora said...

Seda, thanks. I like the quote, especially this part: "To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable."

It underscores the "unconquerable spirit" theme that is at the heart of this blog.

It is the light that guided my footsteps these many years.